Can you solve this riddle?
I live in the water. I swim with much skill. My skin is scaly. I breathe through my gills. Sometimes I am a delicious dish. If you’ve guessed correctly, you know I’m a __________!
Did you guess fish? If so, you’re right! Did you know that there are more miraculous stories in the Bible that involve fish than any other animal? It’s true! Read on to find out!
One Big Fish
In the Bible, a man named Jonah found out what fish look like from the inside! To protect him from drowning in a stormy sea, God sent a big fish to swallow Jonah. Jonah stayed inside the belly of the fish for three days and nights! You can read all about it in the book of Jonah. Scott: you could have some fun with an illustration of Jonah inside a big fish. Maybe he has a goldfish bowl in there with a little fish inside it for company…
Peter and his brother, Andrew, were fishermen. One day Jesus said to them, “Come, follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people.” That meant that Jesus wanted them to help tell other people about him. When we become followers of Jesus, it’s our job to help other people learn more about Jesus. So the next time you talk to a neighbor, a friend, or a relative about the wonderful love of God, remember that you are going fishing!
One Big Picnic
Can you imagine feeding a huge stadium full of 5,000 people with just ONE peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich? Jesus fed more than 5,000 people with one boy’s small lunch of five loaves of bread and two fish. That was a miracle! All the people ate until they were full, and afterward the disciples collected twelve baskets of leftover food.
One day some temple tax collectors asked the disciple Peter if Jesus had paid a tax to the local temple. Later that day, Jesus told Peter to throw out a line and pull in the first fish he caught. In the fish’s mouth was a four-drachma coin to pay for the temple tax!
A Boatload of Fish
One day after Jesus had been teaching people on the lakeshore, he asked Simon Peter and his friends to catch some fish. They had fished all night the night before, but they hadn’t caught a single fish. But they tried again. When they pulled in the net, it was bursting with squirming fish! They caught so many fish that the boat even began to sink. That’s a boatload of fish!
Did You Know?
Have you ever wondered why so many miracles from the Bible involve fish? These little swimmers are a lot cooler than you may think. Let’s take a look at some interesting fishy facts!
- Scientists estimate that there are 20,000 to 30,000 different types of fish. That’s more than mammals, reptiles, and amphibians combined!
- The world’s largest fish (not including whales, which are mammals) is a whale shark. These enormous fish can grow up to 65 feet (20 m) long and weigh over 50,000 pounds (23,000 kg)!
- The world’s smallest fish has a very long name—Paedocypris progenetica. These tiny creatures swim in Indonesian swamps, and are only one-third of an inch (7.9 mm) long!
- Some of the most common fish in the Sea of Galilee (where the disciples did a lot of fishing) are sardines, carp, and musht (also called “tilapia”).
- Female musht fish lay eggs and then hold those eggs in their mouths until the baby fish hatch. Musht are also known to swallow pebbles, bottle caps, and coins. Some people believe that when Peter found the coin in a fish’s mouth, that fish could have been a musht.
A Fishy Treat
Try this delicious fishy treat! (Ask for an adult’s help with using the stove.)
What you’ll need:
- 1 package of “Berry Blue” Jell-O
- 1¼ cups boiling water
- a glass baking pan (rectangle shape)
- 1 package of colorful gummy fish
What you do: Boil the water in a small pan. Add the Jell-O and stir until it dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat, and pour the mixture into a glass baking pan.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour. Then remove the plastic wrap and poke the gummy fish down into the Jell-O so they look like they’re swimming.
Refrigerate until the Jell-O is firm (three hours or overnight). Then enjoy this tasty treat with a friend!